A BELGIAN tourist branded Glasgow's parking laws "extreme" after the council refused his appeal that he was assisting his wife who had a broken leg.

Roeland Mertens was issued with a ticket in Virginia Street this month when he left his hired car on double yellow lines.

He said he had no other option because he had to help his wife from the car into their hotel as she was in plaster following an accident, which cut short their holiday.

He appealed the fine but the council told him it could not be cancelled.

The Belgian couple were in Scotland for a two-week stay before planning to fly on to Iceland and then returning to their home in Luxembourg.

However, Mr Mertens' wife Klara suffered a broken leg in a fall at Castle Campbell, in Dollar, and she was fitted with a plaster cast and their insurance arranged for an early flight home.

Mr Mertens arranged for a stay in the Merchant City Inn, in Virginia Street, to allow her to attend the Royal Infirmary to have the cast removed and be fitted with a leg brace to meet flight regulations.

While checking into the hotel, he was issued with the £30 ticket.

Mr Mertens said: "I parked the car and left my wife there while I arranged check in and took the luggage upstairs.

"There was an officer in the street but she did not say anything to me. I returned to help my wife up the stairs as she could not walk on her own before returning to the car to take it back to the hire company.

"In that time I was given a penalty notice.

"When I spoke to the officer and explained the situation she told me I shouldn't have parked there.

"The hotel receptionist also tried to explain but the officer walked away."

Mr Mertens appealed, providing a medical certificate from a doctor at the hospital, but the council rejected it.

He said: "Interestingly, in their reply it said: 'Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.' Maybe so.

"But then perhaps handicapped foreign people should be refused entry to the city centre beforehand.

"Nor can their payment of fines be made as required - the Glasgow City Council website automatically rejects foreign credit cards."

Mr Mertens was told: "Whilst I appreciate the circumstances outlined in your correspondence the area in which the vehicle was parked is clearly marked with double yellow road and kerb markings.

"The restriction at this location is No Waiting/No Loading at Any Time and the issuing Parking Attendant has noted an informative plate advising the restriction was in order situated approximately 12 metres from your vehicle.

"I would stress that it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is parked legally at all times."

Mr Mertens said: "Scotland is a beautiful country and we had a wonderful time until the accident then the parking fine. This is extreme."

A council spokesman said: "The penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was issued as the vehicle was parked on double yellow road and double yellow kerb markings where waiting and loading is prohibited at all times.

"This is the highest level of restriction that the council can impose utilising The Road Traffic Regulation (Scotland) Act 1984.

"The lady's injury was taken into consideration, however, as this happened two days prior to the PCN being issued, this wasn't found to be grounds for cancellation."

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk